On September 27, the Atlantic Council and its Strategic Advisors Group hosted an all-day conference on the long-term political and military implications for NATO stemming from the ISAF mission. With the war in Afghanistan entering its tenth year, experts and policy shapers from both sides of the Atlantic, many of them members of the Council’s Strategic Advisors Group, gathered to examine and debate how the Afghanistan mission will impact the future trajectory of the Atlantic Alliance, including political will in a post-ISAF NATO, the future of Alliance transformation, and prospects for continued support for an expeditionary NATO. Conference panelists also broadened the discussion to take into account how the age of defense austerity in Europe and beyond could function to reinforce trends set in motion by the ISAF mission. Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe served as the host of the conference, and Robert Kagan, author of the influential book “Of Paradise and Power” served as the lunch keynote speaker.

This conference comes at a time when NATO is preparing for the Lisbon Summit, as well as the adoption of the new Strategic Concept. Along with these two major near term events, Afghanistan is likely to be one of the key drivers in NATO’s evolution in the coming decade.

Agenda and Transcripts

Welcome and Conference Overview

Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council 
Damon Wilson, Vice President and Director of the Program on International Security, Atlantic Council

Panel I: Political Will in a Post-ISAF Alliance – Transcript

Moderator: Frances Burwell, Vice President and Director, Trans-Atlantic Relations Program, Atlantic Council

Josef Janning, former Senior Director, Bertelsmann Foundation
Kurt Volker, Managing Director, SAIS Center for Trans-Atlantic Relations, Atlantic Council Strategic Advisors Group
Rafael Bardaji
, former senior advisor to the President of Spain, GEES, Atlantic Council Strategic Advisors Group

Panel II: Sharpening or Breaking? NATO Military Power Beyond Afghanistan – Transcript

Moderator: Shuja Nawaz, Director, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council

Julian Lindley-French, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, Atlantic Council Strategic Advisors Group
Gian Gentile, Visiting Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Vago Muradian, Editor, Defense News

Lunch Keynote Speaker: Transcript

Moderator: Fred Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council
Speaker: Robert Kagan, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Panel III: Where does NATO military transformation go from here? – Transcript

Moderator: Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council

Edgar Buckley, former Assistant Secretary General of NATO, Thales, Atlantic Council Strategic Advisors Group
Andrzej Karkozska, former Polish Minister of Defense, PwC
Harald Kujat, former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Atlantic Council Strategic Advisors Group
Marshall Billingslea, former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment, Deloitte, Atlantic Council Strategic Advisors Group

Panel IV: NATO Beyond Afghanistan – A Strategic View – Transcript

Moderator: Damon Wilson, Atlantic Council

Franklin D. Kramer, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security, Atlantic Council Vice Chair
Ioan Pascu, former Romanian Minister of Defense, European Parliament, Atlantic Council Strategic Advisors Group
Jean-Paul Perruche, former Director-General of the EU Military Staff, Atlantic Council Strategic Advisors Group

Closing Remarks

Anthony Calandra, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council